I have sea glass envy. I would travel to England just for the sea glass – even though I hate flying in a very, very, very, very, very big way.
I see photos of perfectly frosted, round gems – plucked from English shores, and shake my head; if only I would have known about sea glass 18 years ago when I was backpacking in Britain. Then again, it’s doubtful I would have been able to jam much into that already crammed-to-capacity backpack.
Someday I will visit Britain once again carrying an empty suitcase, instead of a backpack.
Photo: Tideline Designs
My daughter found the perfect piece of green sea glass yesterday. It would make the perfect pendant. (I will post pictures later.)
I have a growing collection of greens – in just about every shade. Most are very small.
I shot these greens inside the house. I placed them in the sunlight on a green, Japanese plate. My girls were home at the time, so I had to shoot quickly. It seems I am always hurrying to get the shot. I never seem to have enough time to take it slow. But maybe that’s how it is supposed to be.
When I take my six-year old with me to collect sea glass, I always come home with A LOT OF WHITE. That’s because my daughter picks up nearly every piece she finds. When I get home, I wash the glass (I add bleach to the water), and sort it. Many of the white pieces end up in the discard pile because they are not fully ‘cooked.’
I have a container full of discards that I will eventually take back to the water. The rest of the discards I used tonight. Here is what I did with them:
That little red guy is Max. He’s a Japanese fighting fish and we’ve had him for more than a year. Today, I decided to replace the cheap looking decorative pebbles at the bottom of his bowl with genuine sea glass. I like the new look and I think he does too.
I was sitting on the couch late at night surfing when I saw a listing on eBay for sea glass earrings. Sea glass? What is that? I clicked on the listing and proceeded to read all about it. I was instantly mesmerized! What a great idea for an article, I thought. I landed assignments with The Globe & Mail, Acreage Life, and Antiques and Collecting Magazine.
I interviewed Richard Lamotte, author of Pure Sea Glass, and numerous sea glass collectors and artists. They had a lot of really interesting things to say, but the bug hadn’t bitten me. Not yet.
Sure, I found it fascinating, but I wasn’t exactly living in an area known for its sea glass. Why would I get involved in something that might only lead to frustration?
Fast forward two years to August, 2009. It’s a balmy Sunday morning and a damn fine day to take the family on a picnic. My husband and I loaded up the kids and headed to the beach.
While we were there, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to take a walk along the beach and see if there was any sea glass.
“Hey, there’s a piece of brown. Look! There’s a piece of green! And look at all the white!” Two hours later, my beach bucket was filled.
I got it home and began sorting my gems. Most of them weren’t ‘cooked’ (they had nics or sharp edges), but there was a good handful of smooth, well-frosted pieces. I wanted more. I wanted blue ones. Yellow ones. I wanted red.
It’s nearing the end of September now and I’ve got just about every colour of the rainbow. With every wee treasure that I bring home, my fascination grows.
I am a full-fledged beach gem junkie.
Photo: Blue and white sea glass by Christina Friedrichsen
Photography helps me appreciate sea glass in an entirely different way. Through the macro lens, my tiny pieces of sea glass fill the space. In their magnified state, their colours and textures come to life. The light within, fills the frame.
My love for photography makes my experience as a sea glass collector a much more enriching one because it provides me with a creative outlet. After each trip to the beach, my thoughts are always about the ways in which I will photograph my latest treasures.
I am currently shooting with a Nikon D70s. The lens I use to shoot the sea glass is a Tamron 70-300 zoom. I have my eyes on another lens. Not to mention, another camera. But these will have to wait.
Most of my shots are taken on my front porch or driveway just before sunset. I am often hastily walking around my front yard holding plates and other props and I am convinced that my neighbours (who I barely know) think I am a nutbar. I usually have a very small window of opportunity. It’s usually after supper … a time when my kids want my attention. Thankfully, my husband steps in to entertain them, so I can have some creative time.
I strive to become a kick-ass photographer. The obstacles that I am presented with are almost always technical. I am very right-brained, so learning about the technical aspects of photography and Photoshop is always a pain in the bippy. But it’s so necessary. So very necessary.
Photo: Cobalt Blue by Christina Friedrichsen
Like the world needs another blog. Like I need another blog (this other blog keeps me busy enough!), something is pulling me – like the moon pulls the tides, to create a blog devoted to my passion for sea glass.
I live in Southern, Ontario near Lake Erie. Although I feel a bit delirious when I see beaches in California, Hawaii, Hong Kong, littered with jewels, and my heart aches a little when I see the lovely jelly beans plucked from English shores, I have come to realize that the stretches of beach that I frequent are full of treasures.
I started collecting sea glass this summer when I was going a little crazy. I’ve been spending a bit too much time on the computer these days working on my online business, and I was feeling very disconnected from nature. Very disconnected from myself. Then I started going to the beach. I went there with one purpose in mind: to find sea glass. And once I found some, I wanted to find more. So I came back again a few days later. Again and again. And then I realized that it isn’t just about the glass – although that’s a big part of it – it’s about getting my butt out the door and into the Great Outdoors. To have face time with Mother N, because if there is a thing called spirit, she brightens mine.
And so I am here. Sharing my discoveries with you.
Photo: Various shades of aqua by Christina Friedrichsen